October 19, 2017: The fourth round of talks for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations wrapped up in Washington this week. Business representatives have balked at the US administration’s proposals to make ISDS voluntary, but unions and community groups want the US to exclude ISDS from the agreement.
Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
October 17, 2017: The Finance Secretary of the Philippines, Carlos Dominguez, has stated that the Philippines will not join the TPP without the US. The US withdrew from the TPP agreement on January 24, 2017. Manila Bulletin reports that Mr Dominguez recently told a leaders' forum in Washington DC, “Without the US I don’t think it’s going to be too hot… Without the US, it doesn’t make sense.”
September 25, 2017: A coalition of labour, public health and environmental groups have urged the United States to remove the investor-state dispute settlement system (ISDS) from NAFTA, arguing it undermines State sovereignty, human rights and environmental protections.
September 25, 2017: Last week the eleven remaining countries attempting to revive the Trans-Pacific Partnership (the ‘TPP-11’) met in Tokyo.
They will meet again in Japan next month, and hope to reach general agreement by November.
September 20, 2017: A new economic study has completely undermined previous claims that the Trans-Pacific partnership agreement without access to the giant US market would still result in significant economic gains for the remaining 11 countries.
September 18, 2017: Ambassadors from Canada and Mexico have told Politico that their governments want to keep Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), despite the fact that most NAFTA ISDS cases have been taken by US companies against their governments.
September 1. 2017: Trade negotiators from 11 of the original 12 TPP countries met in Sydney from August 28-30 for their third set of talks to see if the TPP can be revived without the US, aiming to complete talks by November this year. The 11 countries are Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam.
Media Release September 1, 2017: “Australian Trade Minister Steve Ciobo’s call for minimal changes to the Trans-Pacific Partnership text appears to have been rejected by the other TPP 11 negotiators who met in Sydney this week. Instead the 11 governments* have agreed to suspend controversial clauses on medicine monopolies and some governments want to renegotiate other clauses. This vindicates community concerns that that many TPP clauses are not in the public interest,” AFTINET convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today..
August 29, 2017: Dr Patricia Ranald, Convenor of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network, and University of Sydney Research Associate, explains why governments should not revive the zombie TPP.